Obohobo 2004 Revised 2007
"Storm force winds, gale force eight, force nine in squalls. Wind speeds expected to reach sixty to seventy miles per hour. Some structural damage can be expected. Blustery heavy showers. Temperatures down to four degrees Celsius but with the wind chill factor it will feel like minus five." The Met Office forecaster repeated the gloomy warning.
With mournful creaking and sighing as if despairing of the struggle, the roots of the huge, majestic old oak that had tenaciously held firm for many centuries, lost their grip in the rain softened soil. Slowly, seemingly with great reluctance, the tree toppled to the ground with a tremendous thud. In doing so its outstretched limbs brought down the overhead electricity and telephone cables and its trunk straddled the road, completely blocking the cul-de-sac. Fortunately only two bungalows were affected both with a single occupant. The one nearest to the tree, belonged to Janet Jones and the other to Eric Lebour.
Eric woke to the sound of rending wood as the old limbs broke under the impact. He rightly guessed the old tree he'd climbed as a boy was gone. The thought saddened him. "Better check the damage," he said to himself. Although his senses and the absence of the comforting red glow from the digital bedside clock told him the power had gone, he automatically tried the bedside light. Nothing. Peering out of the window revealed nothing either. Blackness. No moon, no stars, just the sound of high winds and lashing rain. Even without the power cut there were no streetlights in this very rural village but usually, 'her next door, ' kept the porch light on all night.
Feeling his way to the kitchen he found a torch and then a box of candles. The battery kitchen clock showed 2:36. "I'd better get dressed. Depending on how the tree fell it may have hit Ms. Jones' house." Donning his yellow waterproof suit, he took the powerful space lamp from his workshop and headed for the lane. The rain had eased slightly but buffeted by the high winds, it was difficult to keep a footing on the debris-strewn road. Slowly he made his way along. With the space lamp he checked his neighbour's house was okay as he passed and then came to the tree and the still sizzling electric cables. Deciding he could do nothing more until daylight, he returned home and tried to phone the Power Company on his mobile. Their switchboard or call centre was already jammed. He stoked the wood burner and returned to bed.
Daylight showed the extent of the disaster but from the radio he knew that compared with some areas, it was comparatively minor. He called the Power Company but again he couldn't get through. Swearing about the 'improved' system of having central call centres miles from the actual areas affected, Eric reviewed his own situation. It wasn't too bleak. His workshop was part of the house and he could work from home although without the use of power tools, things would take a little longer. Much of his violin making was handwork anyway. Without the landline for the phone, he wouldn't be able to access his emails, which was an inconvenience more than a disaster. He could cook on the wood burner and this also provided the hot water and central heating. A small generator he'd installed for just such a situation would keep the freezer working. After losing a freezer full of food two power cuts previously, the insurers had inserted a clause in the policy that didn't cover 'acts of God' that resulted in power cuts. Therefore they now wouldn't pay for replacement food so he'd decided to have his own insurance and bought a small generator that would keep the freezer working and one or two small lights. The cost of the generator was now less than his premiums would have been. In any case he was a gadgets man and loved designing circuits and practical tools for making life a little easier.
After breakfast he again donned his yellow suit and went out in the rain. The wind, still very strong, had abated a little. Apart from a few overturned bins and two shrubs uprooted, his property seemed unscathed. From the front his neighbour's looked in a similar state although there was no sign of life there. He debated whether to call but thought she might still be abed. In any case she was always very stand-offish. At best she briefly passed the time of day when they met with a quiet "Good Morning Mr. Lebour. She, like her mother, always referred to him as Mr. Lebour and in turn he referred to her as Ms. Jones, only finding out her first name when a letter was wrongly delivered to his address. To him, it seemed she considered her status in life was far above his even though they were of similar age, or so he guessed.
Probably this was the only similarity. Ms. Jones was always well dressed in expensive clothes. Her hair always had that fresh from the hairdresser's look and her carefully made up face gave the appearance of a photographer's model. However, her job as personal secretary to the manager of a small local company was by no means up market. When a visitor asked Eric about his neighbour, he'd replied, "She's a hoity-toity bitch that probably has to open her legs for her boss to keep her job." In that he was completely wrong. She was an efficient secretary who the boss relied on to a considerable extent. She knew the paperwork inside out and the first names of all the contacts and their immediate relatives. Behind the upper class exterior, Janet was a shy person who didn't make friends easily, a person who tried to keep herself to herself and not have personal relationships with others, particularly with men.
Her mother, when she was alive, was not quite as bad but even she treated him more like a workman than a neighbour. On a few occasions he'd been called to the house to rectify an emergency. The first occasion, when the water inlet pipe to the washing machine split and was spraying water over the utility room floor, she tried to make him take payment and seemed very annoyed he wouldn't take any. "It's just being neighbourly," he'd told her. She too called him Mr. Lebour, never Eric and frowned when he called her Margaret instead of Mrs. Jones. With her he assumed it was because being elderly and inheriting the customs pertaining when she was a child. In the three years she'd lived there before she died, Mrs. Jones never mentioned a daughter so it was with some surprise, Eric saw her at the funeral. Only a few weeks later she moved into the house.
In complete contrast to the neat and correct appearance of his neighbour, Eric dressed shabbily. His usual clothes were his dungarees, with a check shirt and a cloth cap if he went outside. More often than not he wore slippers everywhere except for going to the shops. His one and only suit, bought for a relatives wedding years ago, these days only came out for funerals and fortunately for him, they were rare events. The house reflected his appearance. It was clean enough, but not neat and tidy. Beside his favourite chair was a pile of books waiting to be read and on the table several magazines he studied while eating his meals. Had she been asked Ms. Jones would have described him as "An uncouth carpenter, probably into drugs." Neither statement was true. Eric was a skilled musical instrument maker and never touched drugs or even alcohol.
None of this bothered Eric as he walked the short distance along his lane. The tree he could now see clearly, completely blocked the road. "When this rain eases, I must get the chainsaw out," he said to himself, "This old tree should give me enough firewood for several winters to come. I doubt the council will come to clear it for a few days yet. If I cut some of the top branches, I can push my bike round the stump and get to the village shop." Things still seemed okay in the Jones' house so he returned home to get out of the wet.
Mid afternoon, the rain had more or less ceased but the winds still howled. With an hour or so of January daylight left, taking his barrow and chainsaw, he started cutting a few of the easier boughs from the old tree and carted them home. The rain returned with vengeance. On his last trip in the now fading light, he caught a glimpse of Ms. Jones running towards the back of her house. "I'll park this lot in the garage and then see if she needs any help," Eric decided. "She must be in some sort of trouble if she is going outside in this weather. Hardly seems dressed for outside." The sight that greeted him when he walked to the back of her house would have been comical had not the situation been serious. Ms. Jones, wet and bedraggled, was struggling to cover the gaping hole where the bedroom window had blown in. The wind blew the undersized sheet of cardboard out of place each time she offered it up and tried, with fingers that were numb with cold, to tear a strip of tape from the reel to fix it.
"You need some help Ms. Jones." Eric stated matter of factly.
His voice startled her for a moment. "No, thank you," she replied as if he had asked a question, "I can fix it when I can get this Sellotape to stick."
"Don't be dappy woman. You're wasting your time. The cardboard won't stand up to the weather and the Sellotape won't stick to wet wood."
She knew he was right, but tired, cold and annoyed with herself, she turned on him "And what would you know about it? I suppose your house is okay. You're thinking to make out on this. I heard you stealing wood from the tree. You ought to be prosecuted for looting."
Eric ignored the remark for the moment although the tone rankled him. "Move out of the way woman so I can measure the window and get a piece of ply to fit." Roughly he pushed her to one side and fished a metal tape from his dungarees. "Thirty-one by forty-two inches." He repeated the measurement twice to memorise it. "I'll be back in a few minutes. If you haven't fixed the cardboard by then, I'll screw a board in place." It took nearly ten minutes to hand cut the ply in the gloom of his workshop and drill holes for the screws. Ms. Jones had all but given up her feeble attempt at fixing the cardboard and stood crying and shivering in the cold. Rain had soaked all her clothing and her usually well-coifed hair hung down in wet strands. Darkness had descended.
"Sorry, I'm being a trouble," she murmured, "I thought I could fix it."
"Hold the torch for a few minutes while I put the screws in and then you can go inside and get warm." It was then he realised she probably couldn't. The house was totally electric and the power was off and had been for fourteen hours. The window had probably been out for most of that length of time too so the rain and icy wind would have chilled the house completely. Ms. Jones didn't seem to hear him but dully held the torch while he fixed the panel. "That'll do for the time being," Eric muttered, "I'll take a look at the damage inside things must be..." The torchlight flashed erratically over the wall and fell to the ground. Ms. Jones was shivering without any control. Eric led her through the back door into the house.
"Where's your dry clothes?" he asked but could get no coherent reply from the shivering woman. "Early stages of hypothermia," Eric guessed. "Must get her into the warm. This place is like an ice box." Locking the back door and pocketing the key, he wrapped his arms under Ms. Jones' armpits and half carried her to the warmth of his home.
"Sit there for a moment," Eric ordered as he sat the woman in a wooden Windsor chair by the stove and lit the oil lamp hanging above the kitchen table. Eric had readied it earlier in the day when it seemed the power was likely to be off for a while. "Ms. Jones," he started, "Dammit I can't keep calling you that, it's too long winded and it looks as if you'll be here for a while, Janet, I've got to get these wet things off you to get you warm." The violently shivering woman seemed to protest but was unable to make herself understood through chattering teeth. Eric started to remove her saturated wet clothing. It wasn't easy. Every so often she started to speak but nothing intelligible came out and her arms feebly tried to push him away. Eventually he had her down to bra and knickers. Did he dare go further or would she later accuse him of rape or indecent assault? Eric left them for the moment and found some towels. Not the soft fluffy towels she was used to, but good quality men's towels. Eric started to rub and dry her hair. Janet feebly tried to grab the towel.
"Sit still Janet. Let the warmth from the stove penetrate inside. I'm certainly not the first man to see your body and I doubt I will be the last. You may think I'm a slob but if I hadn't come when I did you'd have been dead by morning. Even your mother wasn't too proud to ask for help in an emergency, and that certainly was some emergency." Soon Eric had dried her shoulders and arms. Her teeth chattering continued intermittently and less violently than before and speech came back slowly. Unfastening the bra hooks Eric removed it and started drying her breasts. Despite being in her mid thirties they hadn't started to sag. It had been a long while since Eric had had his hands on a woman's tits and hers were nicely formed so the drying took longer than necessary.
"No... no..." Janet's voice stuttered.
The cold had hardened her nipples. Eric was tempted to kiss them but his lips never came closer than a few inches. It seemed an instinctive reaction. Janet's hand slashed out and her long finger nails gouged four lines across his cheek. Blood flowed profusely down Eric's face although the scrapes were not deep.
"Bitch!" Eric spoke quietly after his hand had touched his cheek and he saw the blood. "You'll pay for that. There's another way of warming you without a fire." Wrenching her up from the chair and grabbing the band of her knickers, he forced them downwards. Suddenly letting go she sat hard on the chair again and tried to kick as Eric pulled her knickers off completely.
"No, please no. I'm... er... Sorry. I thought you were going to..."
"You will be sorry, but not just now. In your state, you'd probably pass out on me." Eric picked up the towel and vigorously and angrily dried the legs from the feet upwards, paying special attention to the dark bush between her thighs. It certainly didn't match the gingery colour of her hair. "I bet you've never had your arse spanked, have you?"
"Mother... she used a belt when I was young."
"Well you'll get another dose in the morning. Think about it tonight. I've tried to help you and even if you don't think much of me, a little thanks would have been appreciated. A little common courtesy, but I suppose that would be too much to expect from a bitch like you. Now put this on and see what you can do towards helping making dinner." Eric gave her one of his Terry robes. "Have you much in your freezer?"
"I really am sorry," Janet said tearfully, "I was so tired and fearful. The freezer? Oh, about half full but it will spoil if this cut goes on for much longer. I put blankets over the stuff."
"That's the most sensible thing you've done today," Eric muttered, "Peel the potatoes while I take the barrow and move the stuff from your freezer to mine. Looks like you'll be here for a while whether you like it or not."
Janet started to protest but Eric wouldn't hear of it. Secretly Janet was miffed. "Why is he was so much more prepared for such an emergency than me?" she asked herself. "Damn the man. Now I'm beholding to him. And he's threatened to beat me. Perhaps I should make a run for it before he gets back. Can't, my clothes are soaked and my house is in no state to live in. I'll just have to stick it out and do what I can to protect myself."
Conversation during the meal was limited. Janet stared blankly across the table and made little attempt to speak. Inwardly though she had to admit the food was excellent and welcome after having missed lunch. The hot food was doing her good and lifting her spirits. Eric put her lack of communication down to her aloofness but in reality, she was afraid of him. After the meal, Janet appeared very tired. The food and warmth combined with the day's efforts and traumas were catching up on her. "Bed for you young lady." Eric ordered as he lit a candle in an old-fashioned enamel candleholder. Janet tried to object but didn't have the energy. The candle shook in her hand and Eric took it from her and led her to the bathroom.
Eric found a spare toothbrush but all the toiletries were for men, no make up remover or facial scrub gel. Still there wasn't much left on after being in the wet for so long. "Do what you have to do I'll be back in a few minutes," he said as he left. Janet noted the bathroom door had no key in the lock but the door would close. "He's seen all of me anyway," Janet murmured as she sat and peed. Looking around in the flickering light she noted things were reasonably clean without being highly polished. Eric knocked and entered. Pulling the robe tightly around her, she shakily stood and left the bathroom wondering what the sleeping arrangements would be.
"That's your side of the bed."
"You're not sleeping with me... Are you?"
"Yes. I'm not clearing the other room and making up the spare bed. In any case, I want to hear if you have another shaking turn. I won't fuck you. You won't be raped."
Janet winced at the use of the fuck word and only half believed him especially as she could see the angry looking scratches she'd put across his cheek. Nevertheless she was too tired to argue and crawled naked between the sheets. Eric gave her arse a playful smack. "Ouch!" Janet cried, "Why?"
"Just to remind your bum of the attention it will get before breakfast," laughed Eric. Instinctively he touched the scratches on his face. Janet put her head to the pillow and almost immediately sleep overcame her. An hour or so later she woke to the sweet sounds of a violin; Eric liked to practice before he retired for the night. For a while she wondered how such an uncouth man could produce such beautiful music but before long sleep overcame her again.
Janet woke. It was still dark but a small night-light flickered in the room. Rain beat against the window. She felt the warmth of Eric's naked body sleeping alongside her. "So far he hasn't touched me," she lay there musing and watching the moving shadows as the light licked first in one direction, then another. "I suppose I could try and escape. The window's fixed in my house... No, it's still too cold in there and he would come and get me, even if I could find my clothes here. I can't get my car out because the road's blocked. It's much warmer in this bed. I wonder if he will take a belt to my bottom before breakfast like he said? I'm sure he thinks I'm a real bitch. I shouldn't have scratched him like that. What was I afraid of? Letting a man touch me again after all this time? That rain is making me want to go to the toilet. Think I'll try and slip out while he's still asleep. Wonder what the time is?" Quietly, Janet slid out of bed, picked up her dressing gown, lit the candle from the night-light and went to the bathroom. Still Eric slept on and probably would have continued to sleep had she not flushed the toilet.
"You're up early," Eric remarked as she returned to the bedroom, "Let me have the candle, I need to piss as well." As she handed over the candlestick, Janet saw him completely naked and sporting a full erection. She tried to look the other way and slithered back under the bedclothes. Eric's erection had gone down a little when he too got back into bed. "Only 4:22," he said, "You feeling better now?" Janet grunted a nondescript reply. It didn't satisfy Eric. Gripping her by the shoulders her turned her to face him. "I may be a rough sod in your eyes, but I asked a question, one that concerned your well being. You could have at least done me the courtesy of an answer." Janet's face was only inches from his and, with the angle of the candlelight the scratches, now slightly raised red welts, she could see them clearly. The lighting may have made them look worse than they really were but they frightened her. Her body started shaking. Eric repeated his earlier question. "Are you feeling better now?"
"Yes Sir," Janet stuttered.
"No need for the Sir, Jan. Are you cold?"
"You're shaking though. Guess you need a cuddle. Lie still while I blow the candle out." Janet was about to protest, but thought better of it. She didn't want to aggravate him any more. Moments later Eric's arms pulled her body tightly against his. A small cry escaped her lips as she felt her breasts being squashed against his chest, his stiffening prick trapped against her stomach.
"Ummm. That's nice. Haven't had a woman to cuddle like this since I repaired Stephanie's violin, that was a year or more ago. You may have seen her bright yellow little Smart Car parked outside some weekends. Nice young thing," Eric reminisced. "Student at the music school. Violin got dropped when they off-loaded it from a minibus. It was a major repair job and would cost a lot of money to put right. I loaned her another violin and she agreed to spend three weekends with me to pay for the repairs. We had some fun those weekends. She wanted it all ways and I had difficulty in keeping up with her."
"I don't think I want to hear about your sexual exploits with other women, thank you very much. It's not nice."
"But I want to hear about yours. You've a beautiful body. Who usually gets to view it?"
Janet blushed but knew Eric couldn't see it. "Please Eric," it was the first time she'd used his name, "Please don't ask such questions. They're too embarrassing. Please let go of me."
In response, Eric hugged her closer. She felt his prick twitch as it pressed into her lower belly. "No Jan. There must be a reason for your being antisocial. You never have visitors, or very rarely, so you must either have sex at work or you're a lezzie, a lesbian or you're frigid. A woman who puts so much effort into looking beautiful must do it for a reason. Which is it?" In the dark, Janet shook her head. Eric smacked her arse, "I expect an answer Jan."
"Please... please don't ask me those things. It's none of your business."
"Perhaps it isn't but I am going to make it my business. Had I not come by, you'd be dead. Stone cold dead. There must be something that stopped you coming here and asking for help. Was it that you are afraid of me? Or men in general?"
Receiving another smack, Janet decided she had to answer. "Both," she replied then went on boldly, "You're rather intimidating, like now, but it wasn't only that. I didn't want to believe I needed a man's help after..." She broke off. It took Eric nearly an hour of continuous probing in the darkness before she came out with the story.
"At college, when I was nineteen, I met a boy who paid special attention to me. We went out together a few times and then after a party where I had a bit too much to drink and tried a few drags on a cannabis cigarette, he took me to his room. I spent the night and woke next morning naked in his bed and found dried blood and semen on my thighs. I must have passed out soon after I got there. Phil was naked alongside me. My moving woke him and he wanted to do it again. When I refused, he muttered I was willing enough last night and if I wasn't willing now, too bad, he was going to do it anyway. When I struggled he hit me and then tied my wrists to the bedhead. I begged him to let me go but he just laughed and straddled my chest so his penis was in front of my face, all hard and stiff. "See this," he said, "This is what took your virginity and this is what is going into your vagina a lot more times before you leave." He used much cruder terms of course."
"You should use them too Jan, it may help you to get over the trauma of it and shed some of your inhibitions. Do you fear I am just going to fuck you over?"
"I'm not sure about you yet Eric. You seem more of a caring person than I thought before yesterday and I've been in bed with you all night and you haven't yet raped me. I know you're strong enough and could have done so."
"I don't intend to rape you Jan, but I would like to fuck you. You can feel how hard I am now. I shall try to persuade you but finish your story then perhaps I will know, we both will know, what we're up against." Janet took a little more encouragement before she went on.
"He put his thing, his penis, - his prick I expect you want me to say, to my lips and forced me to open my mouth by holding my nose and made me suck him. He then moved down and had intercourse with me. It hurt. I was very dry but that didn't seem to matter to him. When I pleaded to use the bathroom he released me from the bed but left my wrists still tied. He stood and played with my breasts while I peed and did the other thing too. It was most embarrassing, more so when he bent me over and wiped my bottom. Then he ordered me to suck him again. It was still sticky but when I refused he squeezed my breasts until I did. For breakfast he gave me some juice and then again made me suck him until he was hard enough for intercourse. Over the weekend he must have had me at least eight times. He didn't use any protection and I became pregnant. I did my best to conceal it but in the end Mother spotted I hadn't used any pads and when I was seven months gone, it became too obvious to hide. She was furious with me and more or less disowned me. For a time I tried to make it up with her but after a few years this was reduced to sending her birthday and Christmas cards. However, when she was in the hospice she did ask to see me again. It seemed such a shame to see her only when she was deteriorating with cancer.
After the row, I moved in with a girl at college who seemed to understand and suggested I go to Phil and tell him and get him to agree to help financially. He would have to anyway if I went to court over it. I anticipated he would be upset but not the fury with which he hit me. Two hard punches to my stomach. I was sick all over his floor so he kicked me and threw me out. Three days later, in hospital recovering from the attack, I had a miscarriage. They had to operate and I lost my ovaries so I can't have babies now." Janet broke down and wept bitterly. Eric just held her close. For once he was lost for words and just allowed her tears to flow down his chest.
After about a quarter of an hour, the sobbing died down. The first hint of dawn began to show through the crack between the curtains. Rain still fell heavily. "Jan," Eric started, "This may not be a good time to bring this up after what you have just told me but I promised you a spanking before breakfast."
"No Eric please. You know why... I told you... Please don't hit me."
"Yes, I now have some idea of your feelings but there was no need to try and hurt someone who was helping you, I still intend to punish you for that. However, I will take into account what might be termed mitigating circumstances, and reduce the punishment to a hand spanking and not use the belt. You won't need to go to hospital afterwards but might find your arse a little tender to sit on for an hour or two." Janet again pleaded for him not to do it but inwardly knew he wouldn't change his mind. "Jan, when your mother belted you, you knew you deserved it and lay over the chair or whatever and took the punishment without being held down?" Janet nodded. "You should know that you deserve the spanking I'm going to give you and I will expect you to lay over my lap and lie there until I've finished. If I have to fasten you down, then I will use the belt. Okay?"
"I could have you prosecuted for assault and put away like Phil was." Eric thought he detected a note of humour in her voice.
"You could but you won't. By the time you could get to file charges there would be no evidence whereas the evidence on my face would still be very evident. Now let's have you over my lap."
In the growing light, Janet saw Eric's prick was once again fully erect. "Where will he put that if I have to lay across his lap?" she wondered, "He said he wouldn't rape me but how long will it be before his urges overcome his will? It's much bigger than Phil's and probably would hurt more if he tries it. Must get away as soon as I can." Her musing was short lived. Eric pulled her across his thighs and positioned his cock between her legs.
"WHACK!! WHACK!! WHACK!! WHACK!! WHACK!!" Eric's hand came down rapidly and forcibly on Janet's fulsome buttocks. "OOOwwww!!" she cried out, "You're hurting me. Not so hard, Please."
"It's punishment. It's supposed to hurt." Eric continued to spank the writhing woman. Her movements had the effect of massaging his cock and shortly he had an emission. Spunk sprayed her bottom and thighs. "I'm sorry," apologised Eric, "That wasn't supposed to happen. I couldn't help it. Your wriggling..." He leaned over and grabbed a tissue from a nearby box and wiped the mess off.
"I think I'd better go back to my own home and take my chances with the cold. Might be safer than being with a pervert." Janet spoke bitterly.
"Your clothes should be dry so after you've had some breakfast you are free to leave. I won't stop you, much as I would like you to stay. I will come over and check on you from time to time though. When you are over there in the cold, just think about what actually happened to you last night. Remember the good things as well as the spanking and my failure to control myself. Remember how it felt like to lie against me and be held close. Protected. Safe from the elements. Cared for. How long is it since anyone cared for you?" Tears welled in Janet's eyes but she said nothing.
Breakfast was quiet. Eric had insisted she had warm food inside her and had cooked bacon and eggs but apart from polite answers to requests, the meal was taken in silence.
The rain had temporarily ceased when Janet left. "Make sure you come over when you feel cold or need some help. Better still pack some clothes and move in with me for a few days. I shall be attacking the oak until it rains again. The trunk is too big for me to cut but if I can clear some of the bigger branches, I can get my bike passed and get to the shops. Need fresh milk although the powder will do for a day or two." Janet set off to her own home without answering and without thanking him.
Mid morning, Eric stopped for coffee. He debated whether or not to call and see how Janet was faring but decided to give her the chance of coming back to his place of her own free will. When by lunchtime she still hadn't appeared, he walked over and found the back door unlocked. Calling a greeting, he walked in. Janet sat huddled in a chair, staring blankly at the mess of glass on the bedroom floor and the soaking wet bed. Some large pieces of glass and wood were stacked on one side. It was obvious she'd been crying but her tears had dried. The house was freezing cold and so was she.
"Time for some lunch," Eric announced, "Stir yourself, you're coming back to mine."
"No, no... Just leave me. You're only going to hurt me. I might just as well sit here and let the cold take me away from all this. Go away." Janet spoke with resignation, as if she had already decided on her options.
"Janet Jones, get on you feet immediately." Eric spoke forcibly, "You are coming to my place even if I have to carry you. There is no way I am going to leave you here." Pulling Janet to her feet, Eric put his arm around her waist and headed for the door. Feebly Janet tried to resist. "Do as you are told girl! I am taking over your life. You don't seem to want it, so I will have it." Still muttering Janet allowed herself to be guided to the warmth of her neighbour's kitchen. "Take your coat off and sit yourself down." Eric placed a steaming mug of tea in front of her, "Drink that Jan and then we'll have some tinned soup and toast. No fresh bread and I forgot to take one of your loaves out of the freezer." Normally Janet would only drink tea from a cup and saucer but inwardly she decided it was easiest to do what he said and pray he didn't beat her like Phil had. She could still feel the soreness in her bottom when she sat on the hard chair but it wasn't really a problem.
"The cold wet weather is likely to continue for several more days. The winds which decreased overnight will increase to gale force eight as another deep depression moves to the south of the area bringing with it squally showers but with glimpses of sunshine between. Temperatures remaining just above freezing but feeling much colder in the northerly winds. With the wind chill factor, it will feel more like minus six to minus eight."
"Another gloomy forecast," Eric commented, "And with power off to so much of the county, it will be a while before they get to us. Henry Fairfield walked his dog up to the tree this morning and said most houses on the main road had power but the estate was off." Janet didn't comment.
"Look Jan," Eric went on, "You will have to accept you are living here at least until your house in habitable again. While your here I shall treat you as a sort of temporary wife. We'll eat together as now, we'll share the housework and... we'll sleep together. I shan't rape you but I will do all I can to get you so aroused that you'll want to make love to me. To fuck. First though there are practical things to do. While I finish cutting the last two boughs that prevent me getting my bike around the tree, you will clear up in here and wash-up the plates and stuff. I've already taken some chops and frozen sprouts from the freezer to de-frost so we'll have them for dinner tonight. I should only be an hour at the tree so afterwards we'll both go back to yours and sort out some clothes and whatever you need to stay here for a few days. We'll also see what we can do with your bedroom. If the launderette's working in town we may have to take the bedding there, neither of us can use the washing machine but we can do personal laundry by hand in the butler sink in the utility room. Does that sound reasonable to you?"
Janet had hardly heard anything after he'd said she be his temporary wife but nodded. She was passed caring. After being so cold again all morning, the warmth of the kitchen was making her sleepy. Showing her where things were, Eric left. Almost exactly an hour later he was back and noted the kitchen was cleaner and tidier than it had been for some time.
"Wow, this place looks great," he exclaimed, "Thanks. Now we must both go out in the cold again and see what we can do at yours before the light goes." Janet was dreading going back to her depressing, wet, cold house but she put on her coat and gloves and followed Eric. She seemed to have little will of her own and relied on Eric giving her instructions.
While she packed toiletries in the bathroom, Eric cleared the glass from the bed and floor and started stripping the sodden bed linen. It was then he found it amongst a small pile of Mills and Boon romance novels. A copy of "Contracted to Serve." With the window boarded, there wasn't too much light filtering through the doorway but he immediately recognised the type of book as being from a speciality adult book publisher. Eric entered the bathroom holding the book. "So you have a little secret Jan"
Janet face was a picture of horror and misery as saw the book. For a fleeting second she was tempted to deny all knowledge but knew that would quickly be denounced. "Should I brave it out?" she thought but in the end she said nothing. It was some minutes before she stuttered, "Eric... I er..."
"Seeing her confusion, Eric stepped in, "It's okay Jan. I understand. You've been alone for a long while. We'll talk about it later. Now you must have others stashed away. Where? There could be some I haven't read." Blushing deeply, Janet showed him her three others hidden under more romance novels in bottom drawer of her tallboy. Tears were once again running down her cheeks as she tried to explain but the words wouldn't come out as complete sentences. "It's okay Jan, Eric repeated as he put his arms around her in a hug, "In a way I'm glad. It shows you're not as frigid as I had first thought. Now, finish getting what you need and I'll finish clearing here as far as I can. The light's fading fast and the cold is beginning to get through to me too."
Throughout the evening Janet was troubled as to what Eric might do later. He'd stashed the four books on the floor by his side of the bed and showed her where she could put her clothes and stuff. Thereafter he'd been in normal friendly mode, making her help with the cooking and clearing up. When all was done and they relaxed cosily in the lounge in front of the crackling wood fire watching the flickering flames. Janet tensed when Eric left the room and returned with a couple of the books. Adjusting the Tilley lamp so he could read easily he ordered, "Sit alongside me Jan and then we'll read them together."
"No, Eric, please. I don't want to read them here. They're private."
"Just bloody do it Jan." Eric voice was firm, "These books show you're not as prurient as you've made out. I'm glad about that but we need to find out why you are hiding behind that veneer of respectability. A veneer that nearly cost you your life." Reluctantly Janet moved alongside him on the couch. Eric pulled her close. "These books all deal with women being dominated one way or another. "Contracted to Serve," "The Sins of the Father," and "Pirates Plaything," and "M'Lord's Maid," that are still on the floor of the bedroom, have the heroine forced to submit to her master or mistress and receive punishment if she fails to do so. Deep down, I believe, that is what you wish for too."
"No, no, you have it wrong," Janet protested, "I don't..."
"In the short time you've been here," Eric went on as though she hadn't spoken, "You've responded best when I have ordered you and you've not had the will to kick against it." Again Janet protested but was ignored. "I intend to find out more Janet, for your sake and for mine too."
For a while, they sat quietly, the silence only broken by the snap of the fire and the hissing of the pressure lamp. Eric thumbed through the books trying to make up his mind how best to probe into her earlier life; Janet sat wondering apprehensively what he was going to do next.
"Your choice of reading would lead me to believe you might subconsciously want to be dominated," Eric started uncertainly.
"It's all fantasy. I wouldn't want the likes of you exercising power over me," Janet retorted.
"Perhaps, perhaps not Jan, but I think we ought to explore it further. Was your father an overpowering man?"
"I never knew him."
"Your mother then?" This time Janet was silent. "Jan, look at it this way. When was the last time a man, or a woman for that matter, held you close? Has there ever been anyone? Phil?" Still Janet didn't speak but her eyes became very liquid as though she was about to cry. "Okay, we'll leave it for the time being but I will bring it up again later. Now I am going to cuddle you while we read a passage or two from these books."